The Word in the Desert

The Word in the Desert : Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism

4.06 (15 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The growing scholarly attention in recent years to the religious world of late antiquity has focused new attention on the quest for holiness by the strange, compelling, often obscure early Christian monks known as the desert fathers. Yet until now, little attention has been given to one of the most vital dimensions of their spirituality: their astute, penetrating interpretation of Scripture. Rooted in solitude, cultivated in an atmosphere of silence, oriented toward the practical appropriation of the sacred texts, the desert fathers' hermeneutic profoundly shaped every aspect of their lives and became a significant part of their legacy. This book explores the setting within which the early monastic movement emerged, the interpretive process at the centre of the desert fathers' quest for holiness, and the intricate patterns of meaning woven into their words and their lives.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 140.2 x 209.3 x 26.9mm | 472.77g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0195083334
  • 9780195083330
  • 433,778

Review quote

The focus of this stimulating book is the growth of monasticism in fourth-century Egypt. The Word in the Desert competently surveys the raison d'etre of Egyptian monasticism and challenges the notion that it was an insignificant minority sect. This book broadens our understanding in two important areas: it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the history of biblical interpretation, and it also furnishes our general knowledge of early Egyptian monasticism with detailed insights. This scholarly work will delight and stimulate all who desire a firmer understanding of ancient asceticism. * Laurence Kirkpatrick, Theology, May '96 * excellent...The final section considers the realistationof the desert fathers' encounter with the word of scripture in their lives. These are rich pages which will repay rereading...Perhaps the best thing about the book is the way in which it will facilitate reading of the Apophthegmata themselves, by providing a framework in which to understand them * Sobornost * The focus of this stimulating book is the growth of monasticism in fourth-century Egypt...The Word in the Desert competently survey s the raison d'etre of Egyptian monasticism and challenges the notion that it was an insignificant minority sect... Stimulating book ... This scholarly work will delight and stimulate all who desire a firmer understanding of ancient asceticism. * Theology * With its extensive notes and bibliography it is a scholarly work which assumes a fairly intimate knowledge of the text on which it is commenting, written by someone in sympathy with the monastic desert tradition, but not of it. Hence it has a certain objectivity of regard, while providing a careful exegesis of the text which can enhance a reading of the Sayings...that it is an excellent contribution towards increasing our understanding of the desert tradition there is no doubt. * Fairacres Chronicle Vol 28 no 2 *show more

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15 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
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4 67% (10)
3 13% (2)
2 0% (0)
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